Column: Scent Control company wins lawsuit

Brandon Butler is seen here with a buck he killed while wearing Scent-Lok scent suppressing clothing.

Brandon Butler is seen here with a buck he killed while wearing Scent-Lok scent suppressing clothing.

As the son of a small business owner, I have seen firsthand the ill effects of a frivolous lawsuit. Even win you win, you lose. In my mind, there is no lower person than one who tries to steal from another behind cowardice manipulation of our legal system. Scent-Lok clothing was attacked by such people. They won, but did they really?

Scent elimination and suppression is big business in the hunting industry. For most big game animals, their noses are their best defense. So if hunters can use a tool or system to help hide their scent, then the chance of success increases. Many companies manufacture systems for doing this. Scent-Lok produces clothing that includes carbon, which absorbs human scent.

For years, Scent-Lok marketed their garments by claiming the clothing eliminates human odor. Well, some someone figured he could get rich by claiming the clothes did not completely do what they claim to. Then eight other lawsuits ensued. These folks figured they had found a loophole through which they could tear down the life’s work of another while lining their own lazy and corrupt pockets. Thankfully, they were wrong.

According to a press release issued by Scent Lok, after over five years of litigation, plaintiffs finally said "uncle" and agreed to take nothing and dismiss all of the pending lawsuits with prejudice. The final straw for plaintiffs was the district court's August 17, 2012 Order dismissing the first-filed Minnesota case. In that Order, the district court noted the extent to which these lawsuits were lawyer-driven: "The Court is firmly convinced that 'this litigation is so feeble that it is best to end it immediately,' as its 'only goal … appears to be fees for the plaintiffs' lawyers.' Indeed, it would simply ignore reality to believe that this case is about anything other than fees at this juncture, given the small number of Plaintiffs and the paltry damages they could recover if they were to prevail. There exists no perceptible public benefit."

So Scent-Lok won, but they lost a lot, too. Credibility in their product was damaged and millions of dollars were spent defending themselves from thieves. Thankfully, the company has survived and continues to move forward from the awful times they spent under attack.

The final dismissal orders said, "Expert testing found that, using highly elevated test odor concentrations that were 'likely a ten thousand fold greater than a human body could produce in the course of 24 hours,' Scent-Lok® carbon hunting clothing fabrics blocked 96-99% of the odor compounds, and essentially 100 percent of the surrogate body odor compounds tested."

Greg Sesselmann, Scent-Lok's president and the inventor of carbon hunting clothing, said, "We are gratified and vindicated by the end of these nine lawsuits. It gives me great satisfaction that Scent-Lok® products were shown without question to be highly effective at reducing odors, which allows hunters to get close to wildlife and experience the beauty of nature like never before. It saddens me to think that lawyers are allowed to abuse the legal system and companies like us with groundless lawsuits."

Personally, I feel those who brought the lawsuits should be ordered to repay every dollar Scent-Lok spent defending themselves. And then the amount of money the company lost due to defamation caused by lawsuits should be estimated and also ordered to be repaid. The thieves took their shot and missed. Now they should just walk away shrugging their shoulders, looking for another victim to destroy.

"Our customer satisfaction level is extremely high, based on survey evidence and unsolicited testimonials from hunters, because Scent-Lok products work unbelievably well," Sesselmann remarked. "Customers don't need an attorney to get total satisfaction from Scent-Lok; because our products come with an unconditional satisfaction guarantee. On behalf of our consumers and retail partners, we remain focused on making products for the best hunting experience in the world."

See you down the trail…

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